As we waited in suspense for Hurricane Lane to arrive, Emily thought it would be a good idea to work on a puzzle. Our activities would be limited.

After an initial wave of excitement from the family, everyone was over it. I think 1,000 pieces was just a little too overwhelming. The best next step would probably have been to pack it up and put it in the closet. It was just too hard for me to leave it unfinished.

Over the next week I sat at that puzzle during the evenings and plugged away at it. Every day I wondered why I was wasting my time doing this and contemplated just putting it away. No, I have to finish.

The thing about puzzles is, the more you put the pieces together, the clearer the picture. The clearer the picture the more you want to work on it. It’s as if the puzzle itself inspires you to keep going when you focus on the larger picture. As you get closer and closer to the end and the picture comes into focus, others are more excited to get involved. Part of the excitement comes when the remaining pieces are much easier to put into place. In the end the final picture is beautiful and celebrated.

There may be things in life that are puzzling. It’s discouraging and overwhelming to work on. Everything inside you wants to give up. When there are pieces everywhere it is overwhelming. You just can’t see how this picture will ever work out.

Take it one piece at a time. As you fit them into place you will begin to see the picture. As the picture comes into focus you will find encouragement to move forward. It might be you that will help others see the bigger picture. When they see it, they will be excited to jump in, maybe even finish the puzzle for you.

In many ways I feel like that even in my relationship with Jesus. There are pieces of Jesus in my life. I know what the picture is supposed to look like (the picture on the box is like the Bible). Sometimes I get so distracted and want to give up. Then I piece just fits and the picture becomes clearer. I’m motivated to see the bigger picture. Then I get discouraged again. If it was up to my own effort, I’d have given up a long time ago. It’s as if the puzzle gives me motivation to keep going. When I can see the bigger picture coming into focus I want to put more of the pieces together. I can’t wait to see the final product. I can’t wait to celebrate the beauty of the whole picture.

What ever you are puzzled by, keep pushing forward. See the bigger picture and move forward one piece at a time. In the end you’ll be glad you did as you celebrate the final product. -jason






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